Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Kappler was head of The Gestapo in Rome during the occupation.
Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty and his organisation were a major obstruction to the brutal Kappler and his Gestapo during this period.
Kappler was responsible for many cruel deeds in Rome as well as the massacre at The Ardeatine Caves, which were personally supervised by Kappler.
Despite this O'Flaherty assisted in helping members of Kapplers family in escaping from Rome at Liberation.
At his trial in 1948, after six hours, the head of the five-judge military tribunal gravely pronounced the stiffest sentence he could give under Italian law: "life imprisonment, including four years’ solitary confinement, for “repeated and premeditated murder.”
During this time one of his only regular visitors was none other that The Monsignor himself who visited him every month for 10 years as well as writing to him regularly and subsequently baptized him to the Catholic faith.
In 1977 he escaped from a Rome Prison hidden in a laundry basket, and was spirited away to Germany, by his recently wedded wife, whom he had married in Prison in 1972. He died of cancer in 1978, never having been returned to Prison.